1982 international chart-topper by Trio with repetitive title / SAT 10-1-16 / Roman soldier who became Christian martyr / Hoarder's squalor / Headliners at Palais Garnier / Brand once advertised with line they never get on your nerves / Where mud engineer works
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Constructor: David Woolf
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: Edward Gorey's "The Gashlycrumb TINIES" (18A) —
The Gashlycrumb Tinies: or, After the Outing is an abecedarian book written by Edward Gorey that was first published in 1963. Gorey tells the tale of 26 children (each representing a letter of the alphabet) and their untimely deaths in rhyming dactylic couplets, accompanied by the author's distinctive black and white illustrations. It is one of Edward Gorey's best-known books, and is the most notorious amongst his roughly half-dozen mock alphabets. It has been described as a "sarcastic rebellion against a view of childhood that is sunny, idyllic, and instructive". The morbid humor of the book comes in part from the mundane ways in which children die, such as falling down the stairs or choking on a peach. Far from illustrating the dramatic and fantastical childhood nightmares, these scenarios instead poke fun at the banal paranoias that come as a part of parenting. (wikipedia)
• • •ASSANGE and STRESS EATS, and possibly BMX BIKE). That double [___ deck] business was garbage, esp. ORLOP (?). Things get very 1-point tile-ish through IRON ORE / I REST / EELERS (ugh) / AEON. I think maybe HAHAHA hovering over "DA DA DA" is supposed to be funny. Maybe if the "International chart topper" (wth is that?) were more Something, I would like it better (I can hear the tune in my head ... actually, just the DA DA DA part ...). I do not accept TINIES as a thing except insofar as it is that thing that I occasionally call my dogs (true story). ONE TO TEN should've been clued as [Scale type] if it was to be clued as anything (not fond of it as an answer at all). But most of the rest is, as I say, serviceable. Just blah.
[A "chart-topper" ... in Austria, New Zealand, South African, and Switzerland only]
Also, right now, I am quite worried that I am supposed accept that when two people are "spooning" one of them is called the BIG SPOON and I cannot and will not accept this ever. I swear to you that I just assumed there was some form of the word "cuddle" (v.) that I just didn't know, involving a BIG SPOON. Maybe like "muddle" (v.) ... maybe you do it for cocktails ... "Step 2: cuddle the mint with a BIG SPOON." I don't know. But after looking up "cuddle" and "cuddler" several times and coming up with nothing involving muddling stirring or mixing of any sort, I was forced to come back to the strong possibility that the puzzle wants me to accept that there are BIG SPOONs and (!?) little spoons involved in the act of spooning. Never mind that actual spoons that nest together are the Same Damned Size. Never mind that the physically bigger person might be spooned. Ugh. Please tell me there is some non-spooning way to understand this stupid answer.
Here is a short podcast that constructor / solving phenom Erik Agard recorded yesterday re: yesterday's GHETTOBLASTER (which, apparently, Shortz tried to pre-emptively defend yesterday on the NYT's house blog—you can find the link on Erik's Soundcloud post). Succinct and smart and strident.
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